The evening kicked off at 6:30 p.m. in the Marano Campus Center Food Court where students and faculty greeted arriving guests and sold Bingo cards, raffle tickets and homemade baked goodies.
Though numerous students were working the event, they were not the only ones in attendance. Various on-campus organizations and sports teams came out to support the cause and help raise money whilst having a good time mingling with the members of the community.
With approximately 320 guests in attendance, including local veterans proudly wearing their honorary military badges, the games commenced. The winners of the Bingo rounds received tickets to enter into the raffle and potentially win one of the dozens of prizes, some of which were mini iPads and gift cards to local businesses.
The Bingo night event was a collaborative effort between SUNY Oswego and the Clear Path for Veterans organization. The Clear Path mission statement, found on the organization’s website, clearpath4vets.com, reads, “Recognizing the responsibility of communities to help those who serve, Clear Path for Veterans empowers service members, veterans, and their families through supportive programs and services in a safe, respectful environment.”
Based in Chittenango, N.Y., the organization focuses on three key methods to serve veterans once they have returned home – restore, transition, reconnect.
With the money raised from events like Bingo night, the Clear Path for Veterans supports veterans and their families through various programs, such as the Dogs2Vets program, which helps support veterans overcoming post-traumatic stress or military sexual trauma by providing emotional support through service dogs. Other helpful services instituted by Clear Path include recreation, wellness and culinary programs.
“We’ve been coming to this event for three years and every year is more fun than the next,” said SUNY Oswego student Megan Ducey.
Ducey is the Coordinator of Programming for the Future Alumni Network at SUNY Oswego and is also encouraged to attend the event through her sorority. She agreed that seeing both the campus and local community coming together is a positive reinforcement of the relationship they share.
Through the sale of raffle tickets, baked goods and game boards, Bingo night generated approximately $2,000 to benefit Clear Path for Veterans.